Cow tipping is considered an adolescent rite of passage in some places. Now, we have members of our staff in this very office of urban sophisticates who say they've been part of a group that tipped a bovine. But a journalist named Jake Swearingen insists that cow tipping is what amounts to a rural legend - no more real than jackalopes. His sod-breaking analysis appears in the new quarterly magazine Modern Farmer. Jake Swearingen joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.
Tomorrow, the International Olympic Committee will meet in Buenos Aires to decide which sport - wrestling, the combined sports of baseball and softball, or squash - will be added to the 2020 Olympics. Now, if squash is chosen, it would make its debut as an Olympic sport. Jonathon Power was the first North American to become the world's top-ranked squash player. He joins us on the line now. Thanks very much for being with us.
JONATHON POWER: An absolute pleasure. Thanks for having me.
When I was in my 20s, I used to wonder why the media ran so many stories about life-work balance, and specifically about life-work balance for women. Then I had children. Now I'm fascinated by news reports and articles about subjects such as "having it all" and "leaning in." I also like novels and memoirs about the challenges and delights of motherhood, work, and combinations therein. Here are three books I love because they acknowledge and even celebrate the messy way that most of us actually live.
A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.
"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"
A protester holds up a sign against U.S. action in Syria during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday. The committee ultimately approved a resolution to give President Obama authorization for a military strike on Syria. The full Senate could vote on the measure this week.
Credit Becky Bohrer / AP
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska
Credit Jan Somma-Hammel / Staten Island Advance /Landov
President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 7:32 am
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.
Lately, Marwan feels like he is sneaking around Damascus doing "something bad."
Marwan is a personal trainer, and under normal circumstances he would have nothing to worry about.
But in the increasingly tense and fearful atmosphere that Damascenes find themselves, Marwan feels he has little choice but to look over his shoulder — especially because some of his few remaining clients are underground activists.
Leo del Aguila (from left), Vesa Gashi, Scott Simon, Erblin Mehmetaj and Shawn Fox in 1999 in a housing complex in Pristina. Del Aguila, Simon and Fox were covering the Kosovo conflict for NPR; the children lived in the war-stricken area.
Billy Crystal returned to voice the role of Mike Wazowski in 2013's Monsters University, sequel to the hit Pixar comedy that introduced the outgoing one-eyed scareball — sidekick to John Goodman's furry blue-and-purple star.
Credit Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia / The Kobal Collection
Crystal and Meg Ryan co-starred in Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally, a Nora Ephron-written comedy containing perhaps film history's most memorable dinner-table scene.
Weekend Edition gets a lot of emails that start like this: "Why don't you tell the truth about ..." The Kennedy assassination, Sept. 11, the Lincoln assassination, the birthplace of Barack Obama or John McCain, Pearl Harbor, Area 51, black helicopters or the moon landing — fill in the blank however you like.
Baz Luhrmann's first movie, Strictly Ballroom, was a cheap, independent romance set in the world of ballroom dancing. The 1992 film became an international hit. Since then, the director, writer and producer has become known for his lavish operatic movies like Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and the recent The Great Gatsby.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:58 pm
A senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network — considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan — has been killed in a U.S. drone strike over northwestern Pakistan, officials say.
Sangeen Zadran was among five people killed at a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region when a missile fired from a U.S. drone hit the building, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:35 am
The interest groups opposed to U.S. military strikes against Syria had a very good week. That made it a very bad week for President Obama and those who support his plans.
Anna Galland, executive director of the liberal MoveOn.org — which opposes military action in Syria — said that by midweek, her group's members reported making 10,000 calls to Congress, contributing to an avalanche of calls from citizens opposed to military strikes.
In the northwestern Pacific Ocean, scientists have found what they believe to be the biggest volcano on Earth. In fact, to find a volcano of a similar size, you'd have to go to Mars. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the volcano is, fortunately, dormant, but in its prime, it changed the face of the Earth.
CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: William Sager says he brings conversations to a halt when he tells people he's a geophysicist. But now, he says he's got a story that gets people's attention.
Commentator Andrei Codrescu reflects on the text message written by poet Seamus Heaney just before he died. In Latin he wrote to his wife "do not be afraid." The 74-year-old Heaney died in a Dublin hospital last week. Codrescu says no great meaning should be implied — it was just a personal message to his wife.
Who's That Masked Marge? Jennifer R. Morris (left), with Sam Breslin Wright, Gibson Frazier, Colleen Werthmann and Susannah Flood, in the third act of Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, a Simpsons-inspired fantasia of loss and remembrance by Anne Washburn.
Credit Joan Marcus / Playwrights Horizons
In Mr. Burns, the "Cape Feare" episode of The Simpsons morphs from a story shared 'round a campfire to include memories of a world-changing apocalypse — and over the years it becomes a shared cultural myth for surviving generations.
If the world as we know it comes to an end, will art survive? And if it does, what kinds of stories will be told after the apocalypse? The answer might surprise you.
The lights come up on a group of people around a campfire in the woods, trying to recall all the details of the hilarious Simpsons episode "Cape Feare," a parody of the Robert Mitchum and Robert De Niro movies, in which Bart Simpson is stalked by the evil but incompetent Sideshow Bob.
The International Olympic Committee is meeting in Buenos Aires this weekend. They'll select a host city for 2020, determine which sports will be included in those games and will choose a new president.
Documents revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency has the ability to crack encryption that is supposed to keep communications and data private. The NSA has also worked with companies to insert vulnerabilities into their products to make them hackable by the NSA. Robert Siegel talks with Stuart Millar, U.S. deputy editor for The Guardian.
Crews are putting in the final fire lines around the massive Rim Fire, burning near and in Yosemite National Park. Some of those firefighters include a member of the Geronimo Hot Shots, from the San Carlos Apache reservation in Arizona.
Robert Siegel talks to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson about where we are now in terms of ending "too big to fail" and avoiding future meltdowns. Paulson says he failed to explain to American citizens that saving the big banks was not to help bankers but to keep the whole economy from sweeping away jobs.
Job growth fell short of expectations in August. Employers added only 169,000 jobs to payrolls, and gains for June and July were revised downward. The question is whether the mediocre job growth of recent months is troubling enough to convince the Federal Reserve to delay its plans to dial back its stimulus of the economy.
After a slow, lightning-delayed, start, creaky, old Peyton Manning exploded in front a national television audience. The Denver Broncos quarterback eviscerated the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the opening game of the NFL season with a record-tying seven touchdown passes. Will Manning's performance help fans forget a worrisome offseason full of concussion litigation and uncertainty? The league hopes so. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins Robert Siegel to talk about the upcoming NFL season.